I always seem to leave myself in the lurch when it comes to lunch. As it’s just two of us (eating solid food, that is), there are always leftovers lurking somewhere in the fridge, so that’s what we usually do. Except when there’s not, like today. A couple quarts of chicken stock, some cooked rice, a few clementines, and only two eggs…the pickin’s were indeed slim. Then I remembered fried rice, a quick and easy dish that is addictively (what, that’s a word…) tasty. It’s also a great way to use up the odds and ends lying around from other meals. The recipe below is more a guideline and can be customized to whatever you have available.
I also happened to have four lonely pieces of bacon sitting in the fridge, and a bag of peas in the freezer. Bacon with peas is one of my favorite flavor combinations; the smokiness from the bacon pairs really well with the bright, clean pop of the peas. Bell peppers, green beans or finely diced carrots would also work here. The fish sauce adds a really nice subtle flavor that makes the dish feel more exotic, so please don’t skip it. I highly recommend buying a bottle if you don’t already have one; you use so little of it at a time, it will last forever. A couple dashes in soup, curry and stir fries can really take a dish over the edge of awesome.
Bacon Fried Rice
Serves 2 as main dish, 4 as a side
4 slices bacon
1 shallot, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup peas
2 eggs, lightly beaten
about 2 cups cooked rice
1-3 tsp soy sauce
Couple dashes fish sauce
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and fry the bacon until crispy. Remove bacon (but leave the fat!) and set aside. Turn pan down to medium heat.
Sweat the shallots in the bacon fat for a few minutes. Add the garlic and peas and continue cooking for about 5 more minutes, or until the garlic just begins to brown. (But don’t let the garlic burn or it will taste bitter.)
Add the eggs and cook, stirring constantly, until they are scrambled. Add the rice and sauces and cook for 5 minutes, just until the mixture is heated through.
Crumble the bacon and either sprinkle it on top of individual bowls, or stir it into the whole thing. Enjoy!